Kislak Center
for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts

Because of our renovation, extra time is needed to retrieve some material. Please see our hours calendar. Hours for today
Tues., 4/28 - Thurs., 5/10:   Access to Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center is restricted to persons with valid PennCards, Penn Alumni Cards, Penn Libraries Courtesy Cards, or UPHS photo identification. To arrange a visit, please call 215-898-7088 or email in advance.

Goldstein Family Gallery

Across the Spectrum:
Color in American Fine and Private Press Books, 1890-2015

On exhibit February 15 - May 18, 2016

This exhibition explores the establishment of a fine and private press movement in America, beginning at the end of the nineteenth century and continuing to the present day, through its various uses of color. Color was used not only to enhance the page visually, but also to convey important information. Techniques employed to impart color to the page varied, from hand-coloring printed outlines to colored woodcuts and engravings, from applying color through stencils (pochoir) to color lithography, from silkscreening to typographic color. The exhibition celebrates the recent acquisition by the Penn Libraries of The Jean-François Vilain and Roger S. Wieck Collection of Private Presses, Ephemera, & Related References.

For more information on the exhibition, related symposium, and publication.

Recent acquisition

A manuscript from Gibbon's binder

The Kislak Center recently acquired a unique manuscript related to the British historian Edward Gibbon, known for his History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Purchased in December at the sale of the American collector Robert Pirie, this manuscript consists of a list of books in Gibbon's collection sent by him for binding while he was staying in Lausanne Switzerland in 1784. In addition to providing a window on Gibbon's reading habits and intellectual influences, the bill details how each book was boundeither in paper covers or in soft sheepskinand the price he paid the binder Valentin Kraër for having the work done. There are forty titles in 170 volumes itemized on the bill including Buffon's Natural History, Richard Pococke's Voyages, and several copies of the classics including Plato, Aristophanes, and Xenophon. A full catalog record for this item can be found here: